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How To Make Gravlax

How to make Gravlax (Grav-lax, Gravad lax, Gravad Laks) at home.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time2 days
Total Time2 days 10 minutes
Servings: 2 pounds


  • 2 ½ -3 pounds wild salmon filet skin on*
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cracked black pepper
  • 1 ounce fresh dill
  • 1 ounce gin or aquavit, vodka or pernod, optional

Sweet Mustard Sauce

  • 6 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

For Garnish

  • 1 loaf of pumpernickel or rye bread sliced
  • fresh dill
  • lemons


  • Yields about 2 pounds of gravlax
  • *Choose two salmon filets of equal size totaling up to 3 pounds or one large filet which can be cut in half. For issues of food safety, it’s recommended to use sushi-grade salmon (which has been previously frozen) or freeze the salmon filets for at least 72 hours prior to curing.
  • Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel.
  • Combine the salt, sugar and black pepper in a bowl.
  • Lay the two pieces of salmon skin side down and sprinkle the skinless sides with the alcohol. Divide the salt mixture equally between the two sides and rub into the flesh sides of each.
  • Cover one filet with the fresh dill and then place the other fillet on top, skin side out. Wrap the salmon tightly in plastic wrap. Place the salmon in a baking dish. Place something flat on top of the salmon and then weigh it down with a brick or heavy cans (a couple of pounds should be enough).
  • Put the wrapped and weighted salmon in the refrigerator for at least 48 hours. Flip the salmon over every 12 hours and pour off any excess liquid from the pan. When the fish is done, it will have become denser and firmer to the touch.
  • To make the sweet mustard sauce, whisk all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.
  • To serve the salmon, remove it from the pan and wipe off any remaining salt mixture and dill. You can rinse lightly under cold water if desired. Place the grav-lax skin-side down on a cutting board and slice thinly, at an angle, off the skin (do not include the skin with the slice of fish). You can also remove the skin prior to slicing.
  • Serve with sweet mustard dill sauce and pumpernickel or rye bread.